Welcome to

The Parent & Teen Toolbox Podcast


EP 00 – About The Parent Toolbox Podcast

This podcast is for those of us who are parenting teenagers.

Cai Graham’s straight-talking insights and tools & techniques are designed to equip parents (and teenagers) with the tools for navigating adolescence.

Recent Episodes

EP 100 – Cai Graham – What not to Expect When Parenting a Teenager

When we reach the teenage years – we often feel that we ought to have Parenting sussed! Ha! Not true … and if you do – believe me, you are setting yourself up for a BIG Fall.

EP 99 – Cai Graham – Tired of Nagging Your Teenager?

In this episode I give you 12 tips – 12 things to say – so that your teenager will be more motived and inspired to think for themselves; so that you can stop “nagging” once and for all.

EP 98 – Nellie Harden – You only have 6570 Days to Build a Fully Fledged Adult!

In this episode I chat with Nellie Harden where we discuss how best to ‘flip the coin’ and use the days that we have left more effectively.

It doesn’t have to be hard work and nose to the grindstone – in fact, it’s better if it’s not.

EP 97 – Cai Graham – How to Help a Child with an Eating Disorder

The problems arise when the child sees the eating disorder as the solution rather than the problem.

In this episode, I discuss my Parents Guide to Eating Disorders; offering insights.

EP 96 – Oie Dobier – Helping Your Child Find Their Ideal Path

We were brought up at a different time. The world has changed – and as a result, many parents struggle to help guide their child through the myriad of decisions they are expected to make in order to find their way onto the “correct career path.” In this episode Oie and I discuss her 4 stage model where she addresses.

EP 95 – Cai Graham – Don’t Blame The Smartphones!

 We berate our teens for being addicted to their screens. We complain that our kids are unable to sit still or get their homework done. In this episode I discuss how we have ALL fallen into the trap of immediacy – and that it’s not our children’s fault.

EP 94 – Cai Graham – Can 2021 Make You A Better Parent?

I’m not one for this “New Year – New You” nonsense … it puts us under so much pressure to do better and achieve more.

But what I do advocate is grabbing the learnings from the life that we live – and from that determining whether we continue as we are doing, or change our direction (if only a little bit).

EP 93 – Cai Graham – Minimising Conflict at Home this Christmas

In this episode I discuss how to avoid ( or if not – then minimise ) the tensions that are likely to be running riot in the home right now.

EP 92 – Cai Graham – You Are Only As Happy As Your Saddest Child

In this episode I discuss 10 Pointers to Create a Happier Home

Many kids are finishing school for the holidays, relieved that there is some sort of respite from the chaos in their minds ( and lives ).

EP 91 – Cai Graham – Self Harm is Not Attention Seeking

Self Harm amongst young children has doubled in the last 6 years. This makes for unsettling reading for any parent.

For many, this topic can be terribly scary as they themselves have little first hand experience of self-harm; resulting in many parents approaching the topic of self-harm from a place of fear.

EP 90 – Cai Graham – Overcome Bullying : Top Tips for Parents

Face-to-face bullying is on the decrease which is great news … BUT cyberbullying is rife. The worse thing is that it is usually anonymous – which is doubly unsettling.

Many parents are able to understand “in-person” bullying, from their own experiences so they are better prepared to support their children who are under fire. 

EP 89 – Matt Douglas – Addressing the Common Pressures that Teens are Facing

In this episode, I chat with Matt Douglas – a veteran educator – about the opportunities available to our children nowadays. We discuss how parents can better understand and communicate with their teens.

We address the common pressures that our teens are currently facing – and how parents can play a role in supporting them through these modern-day challenges; and the critical importance of mental health in the lives of our teens.

EP 88 – Dr Debi Silber – Overcoming Betrayal and Learning to Trust Again

In this episode, I chat with Dr. Debi Silber about my own experiences and how – even though I thought I had worked through my own betrayal story – there are still issues that need to be addressed.

Dr Debi discusses Post Betrayal Syndrome and the necessary stages that we need to go through in order to ensure we are no longer jaundiced by the betrayals that might previously have haunted us.

EP 87 – Kirsten & Aiyven Mbawa – Using Technology the “Right Way”

In this episode I am chatting to Kirsten & Aiyven Mbawa who have become published authors and also they run their own subscription box business; and they say that all of this would have been made much harder without technology.

EP 86 – Cai Graham – How to Manage Stress

In this episode, I discuss the different stresses that we are exposing ourselves to and why they can have a huge impact on us physically, mentally, or emotionally; as we end up compromising our health, our relationships, and our overall wellbeing.

EP 85 – Samantha Bernice – Finding the Right Wellbeing Tools for You and Your Child

In this episode, I am chatting with Sam Bernice – who is founder of The Children’s Yoga Foundation. I quickly learn that yoga is not just about sitting on a mat and testing your own flexibility.

It is an entire wellbeing philosophy that will help parents and children alike, establish a better relationship with ourselves so that we can better cope with the challenges that we often face on a daily basis.

EP 84 – Mary Broddle – You Don’t Have to Run Yourself Ragged

In this episode, I chat with Mary Broddle who, through declining health is unable to maintain this idea of ‘perfection’ – and Mary is just fine with that, thank you very much!

We talk about how technology can be a necessary lifeline and why teaching your child to contribute to the running of the house through chores and responsibilities prepares them for independence a bit earlier…

EP 83 – Cai Graham – Walking to the Beat of Your Own Drum

As adults, we carry around with us many unresolved events and issues that, upon reflection, shape the way we behave as adults. Loss, betrayal, fear, trauma (to name but a few)… all take their turn in determining particular limiting beliefs and coloring our values.

EP 82 – Cai Graham – How to Deal with Anxieties & School Refusal

It’s a tightrope that we walk – trying to make sure that our child gets a good education, and making sure they are offered the best chances in life. But what’s the point if they are miserable and not being able to learn when they actually get into school?

EP 81 – Cai Graham – It’s OK not to have it all together

In this episode, I talk about how it’s OK not to have our shit together and that this is perfectly normal not to have life all mapped out.

Maybe you are getting to grips with an empty nest or at loggerheads with your teen; or perhaps you feel stuck and feel trapped and that there’s no way out …

EP 80 – Sivanne Lieber – The 4 Pillars to Joyous Parenting

When we are in the muck of parenting it can be very easy to lose ourselves and to lose sight of what’s really important.

Sivanne has a framework that helps us gain perspective and avoid the traps that so often hold us back from parenting to be best of our ability.

EP 79 – Annessa Rebair – Opening Up the Conversation about Suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day was 10th September 2021, so this episode is very timely.

The suicide statistics are growing at an alarming rate. Worldwide, every 40 seconds another person dies by suicide.

EP 78 – Stephanie Haynes – Coping With Academic Uncertainty

Following the upheaval from the past academic year, there are many young people who are trying to come to terms with changed plans.

In this episode – Stephanie explains how best to do just that. Want to know more? Then Grab a cuppa – and keep listening!

EP 77 – Cai Graham – Therapy Without the Therapist

Whilst there are private practitioners out there, like myself, many parents do not have the finances to go down this route.

So in this episode, in the absence of seeking external support from third parties, I am discussing what parents can do to support their children’s mental health challenges.

EP 76 – Joanne Light – How to Feel Comfortable With Your Emotions

In this episode, I talk with Joanne about how negative emotions are just as important to acknowledge as positive feelings AND how exactly we can tune into what we are feeling. 

EP 75 – Tony Winyard – Separation Without the Bitterness

When couples separate, understandably this gives way for resentment and bitterness. Many people feel unheard and slighted in some way, and as a result, families are left fractured and at loggerheads with one another.

Tony has had firsthand experience of this, yet he soon learned that there was an alternative.

EP 74 – Julie Krummenacher – How to Take the Battle Out of Mealtimes

In this episode Julie explains how eating a lower sugar diet has literally revolutionized her family’s lives.

And she also offers some practical advice that we can all implement now – so that those mealtime battles become a thing of the past!

EP 73 – How to still enjoy the summer – when you have a Teenager!

Our kids have had a really uncertain time over the past 18 months – and each of them is reading differently.

Many parents are worried about how far behind their kids are falling with their education and are planning to use the summer as an opportunity to catch up..

EP 72 – Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge – Is it Anxiety or OCD?

In this episode – she explains the differences and once we know what’s going on – how parents can better support their children.

These behaviors are learned and reassuringly they can also be ‘unlearned’ with a few simple techniques.

EP 71 – Tessa Gray – The Power Being of Your Own Authentic Self

In this episode, Tessa and I discuss the importance of feeling good and being in the zone and how our appearance can help us find that inner confidence – be it having a great haircut, or (for me) freshly manicured nails – or indeed putting on an England Jersey or even The Queen’s Colours!

EP 70 – Malva Gasowski – Transitioning from Tweens to Teens

In their bid for independence, sometimes our children are not too receptive to their parent’s “interfering” and tend to pull away. Malva addresses this by explaining the importance of PROXIMITY and how this can build stronger relationships between parents and children.

EP 69 – Karine Zbinden – 6 Tips to Boost Your Confidence : Back to Me – Career After Kids

In this episode I talk with Karine as she offers practical advice for mums who wish to focus on their professional goals again; whether that is restarting an old career, finding a new one, or even starting their own business.

EP 68 – Dan Reader – Helping Mums Burst Out of ‘That Rut’

As Mums, we very often feel that we have given all that we have to offer to parent our children – and to an extent, we lose our confidence and (dare I say it ) our own identity.

In this episode, I am chatting to Dan Reader – who knows only too well the inner turmoil that us mums are facing and how hard it is to break away from that table of being “Just a Mum”.

EP 67 – Hayley T Wheeler – Self Knowledge is Your Super Power

In this episode, I discuss with Hayley the importance of being honest with ourselves and accepting who we are (warts and all).

She goes on to discuss how filling our Emotional Vessel with happy & productive feelings & thoughts, best equips us to deal with the challenges and expectations that everyday life throws at us. There are no ‘one-size fits all’ … and the real secret is listening to your own inner voice.

EP 66 – Clare Ford – Helping Your Child Discover Their Path

For many parents, this translates this to their kids lacking motivation and direction, which frustrates and scares them.

In this episode – Clare and I discuss the importance of allowing our children to take the lead!

EP 65 – Getting Back to Normal After COVID

As parents – we need to support or kids and give them the coping strategies that they need to navigate these uncharted waters.

In this episode I offer 6 Tips to help you do just that.

EP 64 – Sandra Chuma – Dealing with Life’s Challenges in a More Productive Way

When we talk about creating new habits, many of us think about setting unrealistic goals (or new year resolutions) which, invariably result in failure.

But in this episode – Sandra helps us recognize that Habits are just a different way of thinking.

EP 63 – Amanda Chatzikonstantinou – Why Your Child Would Benefit From Having a Coach

In this episode, Amanda and I talk about coaching kids / young adults; and how with a few gentle tweaks the changes can be huge. 

We give parents an understanding about what to expect from a coach – and that it’s not a failure on their part to look outside the family for support. After all – parents weren’t taught these techniques at school.

EP 62 – Laura Weston – Raising Financially Savvy Teens

In this episode, we discuss what parents can do to educate themselves and their children in understanding how to make your money work for you.

We are talking about how best to equip our children for more financially stable adult life.

EP 61 – Machandria Peters – Being Differently Abled Does Not Define You

In this episode, Machandria shares her experiences and encourages all of us to say no to the negativity being directed towards us. She chooses to drown out those comments designed to hold her back, be they comments from within or without … and she encourages us to do the same.

That said, Machandria has not let that stand in her way and she strives to spread her message; which is to encourage differently-abled people to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams.

EP 60 – Triinu – It’s OK to Love Your Children Differently.

In this episode, Triinu explains how she has bonded with one child better than the other – and the impact this has had on all their relationships.

We discuss the ‘Mum Guilt’ – and how the first step to happier family life is forgiving yourself. Want to know more? Then grab a cuppa – and keep listening!

EP 59 – Victoria Seed – When Drug and Alcohol Misuse is Affecting the Family

Are you having to deal with drug or alcohol misuse – either for yourself or someone close to you?

In this episode, I chat with Victoria Seed who is a Family Recover Specialist. How I wish I had been able to chat with her when we were struggling as a family.

EP 58 – Angela Karanja – The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

In this episode, Angela and I discuss her 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. As parents in this game of life, we are pretty much able to work out those behaviors & actions that work well for us and those that do not! We have the benefit of life experience – and many of us have learned our lessons through trial and error – ‘the hard way.

EP 57 – Harris Hill – Parenting Nonbinary Childre‪n‬‬

In this episode, Harris explains what trans+ and nonbinary mean.

The most common issues trans+ people face are lack of acceptance and lack of understanding. By educating ourselves we have the power to make our interactions more considerate and empathic.

EP 56 – Dana Baker Williams – Helping You Child Cope with ADHD & Anxiet‪y‬

In this episode I talk with Dana about how she dealt with – not only the challenges that her daughter was facing – but also how she learned, as a parent, to offer the right support her daughter needed.

Dana discusses the importance of trusting your intuition as a parent – as you know your child best – and you can read through the tantrums (or the silences) and see beneath the behaviors.

EP 55 – Janis Isaman – Lone Parenting is F*cking Har‪d‬

In this episode, I talk with Janis Isaman about her lone parenting journey. How in the early days, she “selfishly” had to put her needs above her son’s – just so that she could keep her own head above water.

We talk about the difference between being a single parent and a lone parent. And whilst one is not better than the other … there are indeed differences.

EP 54 – Paul Wilson – Building Emotional Resilience by Beating Imposter Syndrom‪e‬

Paul explains how Imposter Syndrome can manifest in a number of different ways – and as a result, it keeps us within our comfort zone. Which indeed might feel safe and comfortable – but life is all about taking a few risks – and if we choose to play it safe – we are also choosing on missing out!

EP 53 – Nicola Lucie – Lifting the Lid on our Emotional ‘Triggers‪’‬

As parents, we tend to react to our child’s behavior. Sometimes an overreaction is nothing to do with the child in front of us – but more about what’s going on deep within us.

In this episode, Nicola and I discuss the importance of standing back and giving ourselves some space.

EP 52 – Jack Graham – Mental Health From the Insid‪e‬

In this episode, I talk with Jack – my son – about his own personal experiences – in the hope that we can shine a light on what it feels like to live with the constant presence of mental health problems hanging over you.

We aim to get under the bonnet of Mental Health … looking out from the inside.

EP 51 – Janey Lee Grace – Ditch The Booze and Upscale Your Lif‪e‬‬

In this episode, Janey and I discuss the joys (and yes, I do mean JOYS) of ditching the booze. This is not a preachy episode by any stretch of the imagination – but it shines a light on the life that you could enjoy without focusing on the next drink. Janey discusses how you can successfully pave the way to upscale your sober life.

EP 50 – EP 50 – Katy Hill – Living your LIMITLESS Life in this “Tough Season‪”‬‬

In this episode, we talk about how it’s important to break the mold and reinvent yourself (if you feel that things need to change.) So, if your energy levels are flagging and you feel that you’ve lost your mojo – have a listen – Katy will help you find that much-needed spring in your step again.

EP 49 – Heather Rutherford – Perfectionism : Healthy Standards -v- Unrealistic Expectation‪s‬

In this episode, we discuss how we might avoid the Pitfalls of Perfectionism.
TRUTH-BOMB : Perfection is Unachievable – and that’s OK.
Heather and I discuss how we can manage our expectations a little better.

EP 48 – Ruth Driscoll – Creating Better Interactions at Hom‪e‬

In this episode, we discuss how parents can work towards less conflict in the home – and aim for better more successful interactions. We talk about the importance of reaching a win-win situation with our teenagers – and what we can do to achieve this.

EP 47 – Kay Reeve – Developing Emotional Awareness Through the Hard Times

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you know that your child is struggling? But the thing is, often they don’t want to talk to you about it OR they cannot verbalize what’s going on in their head – because to be honest, they have no idea how to make sense of it themselves.

EP 46 – Avril Annett – How to Support Your Child With Their “Bad Behaviour”

In this episode, I talk with Avril about her experience of “the system”, and how this battle with her daughter’s school and the authorities, which lasted many years, ended in a judicial review in favor of her fight for seeking recognition of her daughter’s challenges.

EP 45 – 10 Tips for Dealing With a Disrespectful Teen

In this episode, I offer 10 ways for dealing with stroppy teenagers! Clashing heads with your teenager is a rite of passage – but is doesn’t have to be like this – day in, day out! I share my top 10 tips for making life with a teen under your roof a bit more bearable.

EP 44 – How to Cope with Homeschooling Your Teen

In this episode, I offer 22 ways to Beat the Homeschooling Blues! Many parents are here – homeschooling their child – under sufferance. This is not a choice that they would have made willingly. I share my top 22 Pointers in how to make this task a little bit easier.

EP 43 – So Long 2020 – The Parenting Lessons I have Learned

2020 has taught me many things – both as a parent and an individual. I am NOT running into 2021 with the “Up and At ‘em” approach. I am taking it slowly and seeing how this year is going to unravel. I share my top 15 lessons that I have learned from 2020.

EP 42 – How to Protect Your Child’s Mental Health in the Long Term

So, Christmas is done and dusted and the New Year is just around the corner – this headline doesn’t really make for cheery reading. But very few people are offering us solutions. So I want to change that for you. I am offering a number of tools and exercises that will help support YOU and your family.

EP 41 – 12 Toxic People to Look Out For

In this episode, I identify the 12 Toxic Characters and their behaviors that might cause you problems.
Better still I am offering suggestions on how to deal with these people and how to diffuse certain situations.

EP 40 – How to Talk about Alcohol, Without Nagging

In this episode, I discuss the importance of having open conversations with our kids – sooner rather than later. I also give you a handy exercise that will help your teenager take back control if they find themselves in a tricky situation with friends.

EP 39 – Dealing With the ‘Mean Girls’

This is a topic close to my heart.
Many teen girls I speak with are struggling with unkindness from their peers – from their friends. Funnily enough, they don’t call it bullying – and yet that’s exactly what it is.

EP 38 – Jacci Jones – Ages & Stages : Understanding Your Child’s Development

In this episode we are talking about the developmental stages that our children go through on their path towards adulthood; and why the teenage years can often be so turbulent. Jacci discusses – what she calls – “Middle of the Road Parenting” and why it’s necessary to not expect too much from ourselves or our children.

EP 37 – Clare Ford – Model the Behaviour You Want to See

In this episode, we are talking about how many parents are struggling with the changes we are seeing in our children’s education. Whilst there is still a “preferred path” proposed by our education system … more and more parents are finding that this model might not be best supporting their child’s temperaments, interests, and needs.

EP 36 – Andrea Davis – Intentional Tech Use – Using Technology Wisely

Andrea suggests creating a Family Tech Plan – based on the open discussions that you have already had with your children. We talk about how we can differentiate the use of constructive and destructive screen use (Education -v- mindless scrolling).

EP 35 – Tia Fagan – How to Avoid Parenting From Fear

Our children have so much to navigate at the minute, that it can be really daunting for parents to learn how to relinquish control. It’s our responsibility to guide our children through all the challenges and obstacles that they are facing. If you can relate to this, you’ll love this episode with Tia Fagan, who encourages us beautifully to parent from a place of curiosity rather than fear.

EP 34 – Elena Joy Thurston – Helping Straight Parents Better Understand LGBTQ

Throughout this episode, I came from a place of learning – and Elena kindly fielded my clunky questions with kindness and compassion. We dived right in, discussing the dangers of conversion therapy (there is a 57% suicide rate with this treatment); and how this comes from wanting the ‘best for our kids’ whilst parenting from fear.

EP 33 – How To Parent When You Are Struggling

2020 has been an incredible year – and for many ( it is late October at the time of recording ) it is beginning to take its toll.

We are heading into a winter of uncertainty and this is creating a huge amount of stress for many families. So how can parents parent from such a place of unreliability and confusion? In this solo episode I discuss what parents can do.

EP 32 – Doreen Steenland – Adopting the “Coach Approach” to Parenting

In this episode, we discuss the importance for us parents to be aware of what we are being exposed to and how, by monitoring these brain hacks, we can adopt a less reactionary approach to parenting.

In turn, this awareness helps us to calmly guide our children through the myriad of daily challenges that they face throughout the adolescent years.

EP 31 – JoBeth Evans – Helping Your Teenager to Find Joy in the Unknown

In this episode, we are discussing how our teenagers are adjusting – and how we can support them through this process. JoBeth suggests trying thoughts on for size.

It’s important to acknowledge that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future – and we need to be OK with that.